News: ‘Vanguards’ awarded for leading with compassion
Story by Sgt. Mary Katzenberger
FORT STEWART, Ga. – As the fog of war dissipates and leaves many soldiers bearing invisible scars, the Army continues to call upon leaders to build resiliency amongst their ranks.
Just as leadership is built, resiliency is a soldier skill that leaders must teach and infuse into every training scenario.
On Nov. 21, seven “Vanguard” leaders were awarded the Army Achievement Medal for answering the Army’s call to arms in helping soldiers reach resiliency milestones. The medals were presented by Col. Kimo C. Gallahue, commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in the brigade’s headquarters building on Fort Stewart, Ga.
The ceremony represented the brigade’s first iteration of awards that will be given through the Vanguard Samaritan Program, a brigade-wide program aimed at recognizing Soldiers who go above and beyond the call of selfless service to help those in need, said Capt. Michelle L. Miller, the brigade psychologist for 4th IBCT.
Miller said the soldier’s recognized at the ceremony were identified as the “go-to” people in their units for soldiers who needed to seek behavioral health care during the brigade’s recent deployment to Iraq, as well as throughout redeployment and reset operations.
The brigade psychologist said that the leaders’ abilities to recognize when soldiers needed help—paired with their collaborative efforts with their commands, the behavioral health team, and with their unit ministry teams to deliver needed services—were vital to the mission.
Before he presented the awardees’ medals, Gallahue said he was proud to recognize soldiers who lead with compassion and the care of their subordinate in mind.
“Vanguard” leaders recognized were: 1st Sgt. Devona L. Klein of Company A, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion; 1st Sgt. Christopher J. Williams of B Troop, 6th Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment; Master Sgt. Earnest V. Smith of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 703rd BSB; Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Oxendine of C Company, 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion; Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer R. Poston of Company A, 703rd BSB; Staff Sgt. Byrdine M. Christie of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4-3 BSTB; and Spc. Cory D. Crowe, of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.